Thursday, March 07, 2013 12:19 am
Gasol scores 23 as Grizzlies beat Blazers 91-85
By CLAY BAILEYAssociated Press
Memphis, which won its second straight and 10th in the last 11, rallied from 17 points down in the third quarter. Mike Conley added 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, and had six assists. Tony Allen scored 10 points, including two free throws with 4.8 seconds left provided the final margin.
Damian Lillard scored 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting to lead Portland. J.J. Hickson had 12 points and 13 rebounds, Eric Maynor also scored 12, and Wesley Matthews had 11. Nicolas Batum scored 10 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Memphis was without leading rebounder Zach Randolph (left ankle sprain) and reserve forward Darrell Arthur (sore neck and back).
All of Batum's points came in the first half, as he and Aldridge were a combined 6 of 23 from the field for the night, part of Portland shooting 41 percent.
Memphis overcame Portland's final lead with an 11-1 run to go ahead 87-83 with 21.1 seconds left. Gasol had six points in the stretch, and Bayless had a 3 to start the rally.
The Grizzlies outscored Portland 53-35 in the second half.
Portland shot 54 percent in the first half, including Lillard hitting 5 of 7 for 14 points and a 50-38 lead at the break.
Batum only missed one of his five shots in the half for 10 points. Meanwhile, Aldridge, Portland's leading scorer at 20.8 per game, connected on only one of his six shots in the half.
The Memphis offense seemed completely out of synch with unusual rotations due to missing frontline players.
But the Trail Blazers also were making shots, including connecting on 4 of their 7 shots from outside the arc.
The Portland lead reached 13 in the half and could have been more, except Lillard's floater at the end of the half came after the horn.
Gasol had 10 for Memphis in the first half as the Grizzlies were hindered by missing five of their six free throws.
Memphis finished the night 11 of 18 from the line.
Portland continued to extend the lead to open the second half, eventually reaching 17 in the third quarter. Hickson and Lillard had a couple of baskets each.
Conley and Gasol were doing what they could to keep Memphis close, scoring 11 and seven, respectively, in the period.
After Portland built the lead to 63-46 near the midway point of the third, Memphis closed the quarter with a 19-4 rally with the last basket coming on a 3-pointer from Bayless, his first points of the game, trimming the deficit to 67-65 entering the fourth.
Another 3-pointer from Bayless erased the Trail Blazers' advantage and put the Grizzlies up 72-71 with just more than 9 minutes left.
But after an exchange of leads, Matthews converted a three-point play, and Maynor scored from long range to rebuild the Portland advantage to 82-76.
Memphis then began its final push for the victory.
NOTES: The Trail Blazers lost their seventh straight road game, and have not won on the road since a 100-98 victory at Minnesota on Feb. 4. . Memphis F Quincy Pondexter was a game-time decision with a case of food poisoning. He finished with four points on 2-for-6 shooting in 22 minutes. . Lillard connected on his first 3-pointer of the game, giving him 130, most by a rookie since Stephon Curry made 166 in 2009-10. . Hickson finished the game 6 of 12 from the field. He has shot at least 50 percent in 23 straight games. . Conley had two steals, giving him 50 straight games with at least one. ... Memphis is now 29-2 when they outshoot their opponents.